Thursday, April 23, 2009

Protecting Animals Facing Extinction

Malaysia is recognized as one of the 12 nations with mega biodiversity, with a wide range of flora and fauna. Unfortunately, most Malaysians do not have much interest or appreciate the diversity of flora and fauna in our country. Not many people are interested in going into the jungle. Ecotourism, which has great potential in this country, is sadly neglected. To aggravate matter, there are a lot of people who are interested to consume exotic animal meat, ranging from monitor lizard, bear paws to tiger penis for the purported aphrodisiac properties. Hence, in Malaysia, human beings eat more tigers than tigers eating man every year.

Trading in protected and threatened species is a lucrative business. A monitor lizard can cost up to RM50-100 and there seems to be ever-ready market. Even the anteater is not spared. Since forest is regarded as the state matter, the protection of the forest and the natural habitat of the animals falls within the state government. Most MBs or CMs plus the EXCOs or the EXCO in charge of the forest often have no interest or lack of knowledge or do not have the political will to protect their forest. When I was an EXCO in Johor, I was put in charge of looking after the forest. It was during this time about 10 years that I came to learn a lot about the flora and fauna and that there is lack of awareness, interest and commitment in looking after our forest with its diversity of flora and fauna. It was through the support of Tan Sri Muhyiddin, the then Johor MB and Datuk Abdul Ghani, who is still the Johor MB that I managed:

1)   To gazette Endau Rompin Johor site as the state park and that these gazettement can only be removed in the state assembly of Johor and not through the executive power of the MB. In this respect, I must thank the Danish government for funding through Danced, a sum of RM6 million to develop an Educational and Research Centre in the jungle of Endau Rompin. I also constructed a dormitory and 30 chalets with the help of the Orang Asli community. The electricity is generated by solar power. Since I have not gone into the Endau Rompin state park in Kg Peta in the last 5 years, I hope that the Educational and Research Centre is still functioning. There used to be foreign and local scientists staying deep in the jungle doing research on tropical flora and fauna. I even started an arbotariuam and also an area for the cultivation of wellknown herbal products found within the jungle, like Tongkat Ali, Kacip Fatimah and etc. A 2nd scientific expedition was launched during this time, comprising scientists from UKM, UM. I found that there was not much enthusiasm that every time I proposed to conduct a meeting deep in the jungle.

2)   In 2001, I opened up a new entry point for the Endau Rompin Park located in the Orang Asli Kg. Selai in Bekok. I also built through funding from the state government and also from the Ministry of Tourism about 20 very simple chalets. I started a natural pond where fishing is not allowed to breed threatened fish like kelah. Last weekend, I and YB Chua Tee Yong and a group of local residents made a trip to the Orang Asli community in Kg. Kemudak, Kg. Tamuk and Kg. Selai. The orang Asli community, numbered about 500 of them are voters within the constituency of Labis. Most of them are familiar with me since I have been interacting with them for the last 10 years. I am happy to note that the pond used for breeding threatened species of fish is thriving with Kelah with the size about 1.5kg. I am told that the 1kg of Kelah costs about RM400-500. I met a Scandinavian couple who have been staying there for the last 3 days. They told me that after spending 10 days in Malaysia, they found that this is the best place to visit. I take this opportunity to congratulate the Johor Endau Rompin Park management for maintaining very well the Selai entry point. Park ranger who works in the jungle needs commitment and dedication.  

3)   I manage to have 3 sites designated as Ramsar site, Pulau Pisang, Tg. Piai and part of Sg. Pulai. When I started this journey of trying to name this 3 site as Ramsar site, I have no idea then that it involves a lot of work with NGOs, especially MNS, WWF and the scientific community from the local universities. It took us 2 years before we succeeded in having the 3 sites designated as Ramsar site. I have not been to the 3 sites in the last 5 years and I will reserve my comment. We are well known for starting something new with a bang but with poor maintenance culture, I need to visit the place again before I can comment.

4)   I also started a new Gunung Ledang park, mainly more to promote ecotourism. This site is still managed by the Johor Endau Rompin Park and it is different from the Gunung Ledang resort, which I felt, was too commercialized with very little educational value about our flora and fauna. Again, I have not visited this Gunung Ledang Park, which is situated about 10km away from the Gunung Ledang resort. I was surprised that when we mounted the 24 hours camera deep in the jungle of Gunung Ledang, it recorded tiger, and threatened species of gibbon.

To protect our threatened species, we need:

1)   to educate our rakyat to appreciate and value our flora and fauna. In Denmark, school conduct regular outing for school children to educate them about simple plants, fish and animals so that they are more appreciative of their environment. In Denmark, environmental NGOs have more membership than political parties. 

2)   Not to eat exotic animal product or to be involved in trading;

3)   Politicians at the state and federal who are involved in looking after the jungle should attend some awareness course about basic sciences of botany and zoology so that they will appreciate more about the beauty and the heritage of our flora and fauna;

4)   Review all the outdated laws, which are today inadequate in protecting our flora and fauna. A fine of RM5000 for trading in protected species is peanuts. The time has come for mandatory jail sentence. Otherwise, our children can only see a monitor lizard in the zoo. 

3 comments:

Fi-sha said...

Dear Dr Chua

I wonder why you wrote this but i'm glad you realise how bad we are in managing and preserving our flora and fuan - too huge a responsibility, too little power, too many greedy people out there. Hoping that you could do something about this. Kind regards

呉 和豪 said...

Saudara Dr.Chua Soi Lek
Malaysia is recognized as one of the 12 nations with mega biodiversity, with a wide range of flora and fauna. 我们应该惜福,要懂得保护这些宝贵的自然资源,要知道这些宝贵的自然资源一旦受到严重的破坏是无法还原的。
To aggravate matter, there are a lot of people who are interested to consume exotic animal meat, ranging from monitor lizard, bear paws to tiger penis for the purported aphrodisiac properties.

暴孽天物不可为也。以形补形 ,以性补性 是毫无科学根据。观慈,不杀生 ,我们会更有力气,活得更健康,更快乐,更有福报。
Most MBs or CMs plus the EXCOs or the EXCO in charge of the forest often have no interest or lack of knowledge or do not have the political will to protect their forest。
给与委托就要好好表现。要名誉,要酬劳不做工,此风不可为也。
It was through the support of Tan Sri Muhyiddin, the then Johor MB and Datuk Abdul Ghani, who is still the Johor MB that I managed。
优秀的人才对一个机构的营运是非常重要的,还好Tan Sri Muhyiddin懂得用人。

To gazette Endau Rompin Johor site as the state park and that these gazettement can only be removed in the state assembly of Johor and not through the executive power of the MB. In this respect, I must thank the Danish government for funding through Danced, a sum of RM6 million to develop an Educational and Research Centre in the jungle of Endau Rompin.
所以选州议员是选民也要谨桢,你的一票不但影响你住的地区而已,也将影响整个国家,整个区域,甚至整个世界。
I also constructed a dormitory and 30 chalets with the help of the Orang Asli community. The electricity is generated by solar power.
很有公德,也很有创意性,合乎环保也合乎人道

I even started an arbotariuam and also an area for the cultivation of wellknown herbal products found within the jungle, like Tongkat Ali, Kacip Fatimah and etc.
好好研究这些天然植物能使到我国的经济增值。我想食用Tongkat Ali非常有效。食用老虎鞭不但没有效而且还造恶业。医药科学家也相信在我国的森林可以找到能治疗奇难怪症的植物。
I met a Scandinavian couple who have been staying there for the last 3 days. They told me that after spending 10 days in Malaysia, they found that this is the best place to visit. I take this opportunity to congratulate the Johor Endau Rompin Park management for maintaining very well the Selai entry point. Park ranger who works in the jungle needs commitment and dedication.
从这里我们可以知道森林的持续经营对于无烟工业是何其重要的。
What is Ramsar site? I dont know

I was surprised that when we mounted the 24 hours camera deep in the jungle of Gunung Ledang, it recorded tiger, and threatened species of gibbon.
我很佩服你对你对动物的爱护,对工作的热衷。
to educate our rakyat to appreciate and value our flora and fauna. In Denmark, school conduct regular outing for school children to educate them about simple plants, fish and animals so that they are more appreciative of their environment. In Denmark, environmental NGOs have more membership than political parties
教育的目的在于全面及平衡的发展,审美也包括对大自然的爱护及观赏。
Not to eat exotic animal product or to be involved in trading
暴孽天物不可为也。
以形补形 ,以性补性 是毫无科学根据。观慈,不杀生 ,我们会更有力气,活得更健康,更快乐,更有福报。
Politicians at the state and federal who are involved in looking after the jungle should attend some awareness course about basic sciences of botany and zoology so that they will appreciate more about the beauty and the heritage of our flora and fauna;


老虎最适合在大自然森林中生活,而不是受困在人造的园林。面积40公顷的土地不足以容纳如老虎般的大型动物?这个想法,我只能说是拙劣的生态旅游构思。
Review all the outdated laws, which are today inadequate in protecting our flora and fauna. A fine of RM5000 for trading in protected species is peanuts. The time has come for mandatory jail sentence. Otherwise, our children can only see a monitor lizard in the zoo。
执法官员绝对不能软手,一旦失去就无法恢复,现在人只能
看见Tasmania虎,巴里虎,安南虎,里海虎的相片而已,因为这些动物已经绝灭了。少了飞禽走兽,珍花异草,生活也会失去乐趣,失去调和

呉 和豪 said...

Saudara Dr.Chua Soi Lek

This article is very interesting , educational and informative , it is good to have it translated in chinese to capture more readership. Our country is one of the most blessed land in the world, we are bestowed with biodiversity and cultural diversity , all of us should be appreciative of this blessing.The bioversity and cultural diversity provide us with unlimted potential and opportunities that can enhance our country to become internationl scientific research center ,educational center,medical center ,trade center and tourist center.
It would be a good ideal for you become a spokeman or "ambasador" for our country on ecotourism in order to lure investors , researchers, students and tourist to our country.

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